BRUNSWICK – Some of his baseball pitching records still stand at Bowdoin College.

He was named an All-New England and Little All-American football player at Bowdoin.

And 50 years after he graduated, he was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.

Arthur P. Bishop died Tuesday at his son’s home in Waterville. He was 83.

“He was self-made, like a lot of people from that era,” said his son, Brad Bishop of Waterville.

Born in Saco, he dropped out of Thornton Academy to join the Navy during World War II. He served for two years before returning to Maine to earn his high school diploma, and graduated from Thornton Academy when he was 22.

His father died while he was at sea. His mother had died earlier.

“He was on his own much of his life,” his son said.

Mr. Bishop was set to enroll at Springfield College in Massachusetts when Bowdoin’s football coach, Adam Walsh, called him and urged him to enroll at the school in Brunswick.

He couldn’t resist the offer. Walsh had been an All-American center at Notre Dame, playing for the legendary coach Knute Rockne. Mr. Bishop became close friends with Walsh, and served as a pall bearer at Walsh’s funeral in 1985.

Though he was starting fullback for the college’s football team, it was his baseball career that really took off. He was a pitcher and played outfield.

His baseball coach had ties with another legend. Coach Danny McFadden played on world championship teams with Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees in the 1920s.

“He was fortunate to have such remarkable people coaching him,” his son said. “the time he graduated (in 1952) he had set five or six school records.

“Based on some of the news clippings I’ve read, I’d have to say my father was one of the better players of that era,” his son said.

Mr. Bishop turned down an offer to play for the Boston Red Sox organization, his son said.

After graduating with a degree in economics and history, Mr. Bishop worked in the textile industry, traveling the East Coast as a sales representative.

In 1963, his wife, Rosemary Emerson Bishop, died at the age of 35. A year later, Mr. Bishop decided to make a major career change. He became a history teacher at Brunswick High School, and held the job for 23 years before retiring in 1987.

Mr. Bishop lived by himself for years on Woodward Point Road in Brunswick.

He coached several teams at the high school, serving more than 20 years as Brunswick’s varsity baseball coach.

He lived in Brunswick until March, when his failing health forced him to move in his with son, his daughter-in-law, Lynda, and his two grandsons, Cameron and Kyle.

He made it a point to attend all of his grandsons’ games.

Kyle was a pitcher for the Waterville High School baseball team, which won the Class B state championship this year, and Cameron is a wide receiver for the Bowdoin College football team.

Even after he was diagnosed with skin cancer and leukemia, Mr. Bishop refused to surrender.

“He was a child of the Depression and World War II, very independent, stubborn and tough,” his son said. “He fought to the end.”

 

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]